Among the various welding methods, none can produce results that are finer than those obtained by TIG welding. It is little wonder that TIG (or Tungsten Inert Gas) welding has been the mainstay of aerospace fabrication, construction and repair. More…
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By Kym Morgan
21 May, 2014
MANY a welding successful workshop has been established in the Aussie backyard shed.
After all, the shed is often a man’s own private space and it can provide the ideal atmosphere for a day’s welding.
But there are a few dos and don’t when it comes to setting up your shed as a welding workspace so bare these things in mind before you start your project.
If you are in the market for a shed in which to set up your welding workshop, we recommend these guys - cheapsheds.com.au. Cheapsheds is Australia’s biggest selling online shed retailer and they have a massive range and offer first-rate customer service.
Good luck and happy welding
29 Apr 2014
ALUMINIUM WELDING is to the welding industry what Luis Suarez is to the Liverpool Football Club.
It can be difficult to work with but it’s extremely important.
Aluminium is one of the most widely used metals in the modern world and any serious welder is probably going to need to master it at some point.
Don’t agree? Have a think about aluminium’s role in automotives and construction and for a start.
In automotives, aluminium is used in car, truck and bus engines block, transmission housing and body panels. In construction, it’s used in sheet products for roofing and wall cladding and in castings for builders.
Then there’s aluminium’s role in packaging, and the electrical sector. You get my drift!
So, rather than avoid aluminium welding it’s time to embrace it, master it and massively increase your welding skill set in the process.
This Blog is dedicated to the art of TIG Aluminium welding, which I believe is the best process for working with aluminium but in a subsequent blog I’ll cover off on MIG aluminium welding. I recommend steering clear of Stick aluminium welding. Getting precise enough welds for aluminium using the Stick/Arc process is a massive ask and I don’t recommend it.
Ok, so TIG aluminium welding. let’s get into it.
Prepare for your project
As with every welding process, preparation is key. Remember the old saying, if you’re given hours to chop down a tree, spend the first seven hours sharpening your axe.
Make sure you’ve got the tools you need
Given we’re talk about TIG aluminium welding this an obvious one. More specifically, you should consider investing in a TIG inverter welder with AC (alternating current) function if you’re seeking to achieve high quality aluminium welds. The reason AC welders are more effective on aluminium, and magnesium, is because of the properties of these metals.
Aluminium forms an oxide layer when exposed to air and this layer has a far higher melting temperature than the base metal itself – 1982C, compared to 648C.
If not removed properly, this oxide layer will inhibit proper weld fusion and affect its quality.
A TIG welder with an alternating current basically erases this oxide layer from the surface, so that the integrity of the weld is not compromised when the base metal melts. eWelders.com.au sells a big range of TIG welders with AC/DC function starting at $1199. A big investment, but extremely cheap compared to our competitors.
Way out of your price range? Don’t despair. It is possible to aluminium weld with a TIG inverter that only has DC function which start fromjust $249 in price here. The key will be cleaning away the oxide layer manually before you start your weld. We will cover off on this a little lower in this article.
The aluminium Filler Rod will bond your two pieces of aluminium together, as we will explain later. These can be purchased inexpensively at eWelders here.
You will use this as your shielding gas. Pure argon is an economic alternative. For added stability you can use argon with 3% helium.
Obviously you’ll need to protect yourself when carrying out aluminium welding. Click here for our article on welding safety and preparation but in the meantime make sure you cover off these basics.
Prepare the aluminium
Ok, now that you’ve got the equipment you need its time to get ready to weld.
First of all, you should clean your aluminium. As I mentioned earlier, if you are using a TIG inverter which only has DC function, it is crucial that you do this in order to remove the oxide layer that will have formed on your aluminium. This layer has a far higher melting temperature than the base metal and, if not removed, will compromise your weld. To clean your aluminium sheet:
Prepare your filler rod
To complete your cleaning preparation your should clean the filler rod you intend to use. a dirty filler rod can contaminate the weld so use an abrasive cleaning pad to clean the rod before you start.
Before you start have a few practice runs. There’s no need to light the torch for this if you’re trying to save on metal.
The filler rod
A few final bits of preparation!
Preheat the aluminium
Aluminium is much more cooperative if it has been preheated to about 175C. Failure to do this can lead to a weak, shallow weld. To preheat your aluminium weld you can set your oven to 175C and put it in there. Don’t worry about the sheet melting while it’s in the oven. Remember, aluminium has a melting temperature of 648C.
Alternatively, use a gas torch to heat the heat sink that the aluminium sheet is clamped to. This will distribute the heat throughout the aluminium.
Fit your aluminium sheets together as tightly as possible
TIG welders don’t like it when the metals are not fitted together nice and tightly prior to welding. It can result in a weak weld. Fill your sheets before you clamp them to avoid this.
Set your welder to the appropriate settings
Congratulations, you’re done!
Don’t be disheartened if you’re first attempts at TIG aluminium welding is a raging success. You’re taking on a more advanced leve welding skill here and it will take a few attempts to master.
By Kym Morgan
17 April 2014
SO, you’ve taken on a welding project? First of all, congratulations on making a brilliant decision.
Having the ability to weld not only introduces you to a highly satisfying, incredibly addictive, hobby it also opens up a whole new weld, i mean world, of possibilities.
Sorry, no more cringe worthy puns, i promise!
Look around you, chances are something within your immediate vicinity contains a weld. You’re car is full of spot welds. Look at the the hand railing nearby, the table across the hall, the metal shelving out in the garage…You get my point.
Welding is a key part of the manufacture of so many products which play an important part in our everyday lives. Welding also plays a part in all of the super-structures around us (like buildings and bridges) and the auto-motives we use every day.
By becoming proficient in welding and taking on your first project you are about to enter an art-form which will not only give you satisfaction and enjoyment, but help you to carry out DIY and renovation jobs, make new products, and save money.
With any welding product, a few golden rules apply and I wanted to share one of them with you today.
This rule applies whether you are undertaking a MIG, TIG or MMA welding process. It applies whether you’re carrying out a basic repair around the home or carrying our a major car restoration project.
Plan your welding job meticulously and ensure you have all the equipment you need to do the job right, and to do it safely.
Purchasing equipment for that first welding job can seem like a major expense. But remember, many of the purchases are one-offs, so these are investments in future welding projects, Ultimately by undertaking welding projects yourself you can save money, not to mention get a massive amount of enjoyment and satisfaction.
So, before you start your project, make a list of all of the equipment you will need to do the job right, and to do it safely.
The welding machine
Obviously the starting point is to buy the right welder for your project. If you haven’t already done this, you’ve come to the right website. At eWelders.com.au we have a massive range of more than 100 quality welding machines which you can view here. If you need technical support on this important decision, you can contact us.
I’m not going to go into too many specifics about which welder to chose in this blog, as this is another topic in itself. But, for those still to chose a welder, your starting point will be to ask yourself these three basic questions:
Once you know the answer to these three basic questions, you’re well on your way to buying the right welder. Don’t be overwhelmed by the highly-technical nature of welding, and the amount of choice that is out there on the market. Start by asking yourself the above questions and doing a little research. eWelders frequently asked questions section has a handy guide to which welding process are suited to which metals. Click here to view this. For a beginner, it will definitely be worth purchasing a kit with your welder. These kits will come with things like welding guns, leads, torches and regulators, to save you having to buy them separately. Contact us if you need some technical support and always buy your welder through a reputable dealer such as eWedlers.com.au.
What comes next?
Once you have your welder and you’ve worked out your welding process, it is time to make a list of all the materials and consumables you are going to need to do the job right. This will obviously vary greatly from job to job. But you will need to check off the following points.
Whether you’re using MIG wire, TIG filler rods, or MMA electrodes, ensure you think about the amount of consumable material you will use during your project and stock up accordingly. Also ensure you get the the right consumable for your project. Different MIG Wires are suited to welding different metals, for example. The good news is, all of eWelders’ consumables are clearly labelled and explained on our site, making it easy for you to select the right consumable. Click here to view our consumables.
Safety should be the upmost priority for any welder. Welders expose themselves to electric currents, potentially harmful gases, extreme heats, and debris. Therefore you need to protect yourself before you start your project.
It is imperative that you use a specialised set of welding gloves whenever you weld. As you will see when you visit eWelders’ gloves page here, they are not expensive but they do play a crucial role in the protection your hands, because welding gloves are made from leather and are flame resistant. Do not use ordinary gardening gloves, or cheap cotton gloves when you weld.
You are going to need to protect your eyes, and your whole face when you weld. Without a hemet you risk damaging your eyes due to exposure to the extremely bright ultraviolet light which occur during a weld. You also risk burns to your face from sparks that fly up off the metal as you weld. Again, a welding helmet can be purchased inexpensively at eWelderscom.au’s helmet’s page. For beginner welders, we recommend you buy an auto-darkening helmet. auto-darkening helmets automatically adjust the lens to darken and protect your eyes when you strike an arc. THe helmets adjust far quicker than you can blink your eyes. This not only protect you it give you the advantage of being able to see what you’re doing prior to striking your arc. eWelders only sells auto-darkening helmets.
Like your gloves, it is important to invest in a specialist welding jacket because welding jacket’s, unlike many general jackets, are non-flamable. Once again, eWelders.com.au has a good range of well-priced jackets for you to browse here.
Now that you have your safety equipment, and your welder, start to forward plan.
There is a good chance you will need something to cut your metals with during your welding project. eWelders stocks a comprehensive range of plasma and gas cutting machines which can be viewed here. If you do not wish to purchase a plasma cutter at this point, you could consider purchasing a metal cutting saw, although be prepared for sharp edges around your cuts, meaning you are also likely to need an angle grinder.
If you’re working with sheet metal it may also be a good idea to have a pair of metal snips handy, and a sheet metal brake, to help you snip and shape your metals.
Once you have all of your safety equipment, your welding and cutting equipment, and your consumables sorted, it’s time to buy your metals. You can visit any hardware or sheet metal store to purchase your metals but do your homework. Work out how much of each material you need, allowing for off-cuts.
For beginners, it will be worth buying some practice cuts.
There are a whole host of other equipment you may need to consider before you start your project, which is why it is important to have a plan.
At your home workshop, for example, you may needs a work bench, and a trolley. You are also likely to need tools like clamps, and chipping hammers, and you may need to purchase cables, leads and adapters. eWelders is a comprehensive welding supplier and stocks all of this equipment.
Remember, by purchasing all of the equipment you need before you start your project, you are setting yourself up for success. You are also less likely to have to down tools when you realise you are missing something you require. THat is a massive momentum killer! Most importantly, you’re setting yourself up to weld safely, and to enjoy your project.
Good luck, and keep reading our blog for more useful welding tips.